Planners defer decision on Kanis development | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Planners defer decision on Kanis development

Posted By on Thu, Oct 8, 2015 at 6:01 PM

  • "Trails" plat superimposed over satellite view of area.
Because of a page and a half of questions about the sewage treatment plant he proposes to build to handle the waste from homes he wants to build on Kanis Road, developer Wayne "Oz" Richie said, he asked that a conditional use permit to build the plant and consideration of the development plat it would serve, "The Trails," before the Planning Commission this afternoon be deferred, and commissioners agreed. The Planning Department staff had recommended against the conditional use permit.

Richie proposes to build 266 homes in Fletcher Hollow. The City Board room, where the Commission meets, was standing room only. Neighbors of the land, sold to Richie by Deltic Timber and near the intersection of Kanis and Walnut Grove in the county, have inundated the Planning Department with protests over the development.

The Trails (a bike trail would encircle the property) would include 266 lots ranging from 7,000 square feet to 98,000 square feet, or 2.2 acres, and require that that the ridge that fronts Kanis be cut back 30 feet. Development surrounding the 154 acres is mostly 5-acre and larger lots; there is no development on the ridge across Kanis, which is 22 feet wide with no shoulder in places, from the property. Protests address the traffic the number of houses will add to the narrow, scenic road; the clearcutting that will be required, and associated runoff and erosion; and damage to Fletcher Creek. Alan New, an opponent, said the lawyer for the Citizens of West Pulaski County, Stephen Giles, drew up the two pages of questions. CORRECTION: The questions came from the planning staff.

A spillway on the sewage treatment plant pond would empty into Fletcher Creek, and while the city can't stop the subdivision if it meets all conditions of R-2 zoning, the sewage treatment plant must get approval by the state Department of Environmental Quality and the Health Department. 

The conditional use permit and Trails plat will be taken up at the commission's January meeting. At its Nov. 5 meeting, the commission will consider an application by Mike Mitchell of Paron to amend the Master Street Plan to preserve 2.09 miles of Kanis, from Chenal Downs Boulevard to Walnut Grove Road, as a two-lane with no shoulder "to preserve the natural beauty of the rare 2-lane road with high tree canopy."

It truly is a beautiful stretch of road, if you haven't driven it. Of course, the city was once surrounded by many beautiful country roads.

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